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Houseplants You Can't Kill

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 4

"Green Thumb Challenged"

Not everyone out there is a natural gardener.  No, some of us were not born with a "green thumb" but that does not mean you wouldn't like to have some nice houseplants in your home.   If you would like to have some houseplants, yet you can't seem to keep any alive, this is the article for you.

The first piece of advice is stay away from plants with flowers.  Those are certainly the prettiest plants, it is true.  However, those plants are usually the first to die.  The instructions are often vague with houseplants, but usually, flowered plants need plenty of light.  But how much light is too much light?  And what if it gets too hot?  How much water do they need since they are probably overheating with all that light?  When in doubt, just stay away from the flowered plants!

The second piece of advice is remember to water your houseplants.  This sounds very obvious, but that is what usually goes wrong.  The third suggestion is don't overwater the plant.  If you've killed plants in the past due to underwatering, you are likely going to try to overcompensate for that the next time around.  If you go to water the plant and the soil is still wet (put you finger into the soil about half an inch down), do not water the plant yet.

With all that said, let's discuss a couple of houseplants that are extremely hardy.  It is practically impossible to kill them unless you are really trying.


The cactus is a plant from the desert, and therefore, practically impossible to kill.  You can totally forget to water it on a regular basis, but it will be OK.  The only problem you can have with a cactus is overwatering it.  It is better to underwater a cactus, rather than overwater it.  When it doubt, step away from the cactus with the cup of water!

There are many different types of cacti out there.  Yes, some cacti even have flowers.  Of course, after reading an earlier warning about not buying a plant with flowers, you must be confused.  Consider the cactus an exception to the rule.  Cacti are not always the prettiest plants and they can be a little prickly, so if a flower makes it seem more attractive for you, go for it.

The Pothos Plant



If you are not interested in a cactus because you want something prettier, then the pothos plant is for you.  A pothos is a hanging plant and it is an extremely hardy plant.   It is considered the easiest houseplant to grow and keep alive.  The pothos nickname is "The Devil's Ivy."  Don't let that scare you off.  It is a beautiful plant, and it tolerates sporadic watering and low light conditions.

The best thing about a pothos plant is you probably already know somebody with one.  Once you have a pothos, it is as if you have a plant for life.  They also grow pretty rapidly at times, so you can create cuttings for more plants or to give to others.  So if you know someone with a pothos plant, just ask them for a cutting.  Most people are more than happy to share.

An Artificial Plant

If all else fails, don't feel silly buying an artificial plant.  Even if you've had success with your live houseplants, an artificial plant often looks nice in low light locations where you cannot place a live plant.  Artificial plants look great on top of high shelving units and kitchen cabinets.  Just remember to periodically clean them since they do tend to gather dust.

Now that you are all set with this new information, you will be able to have your own beautiful houseplants in no time.  Don't let the death of one or two (or ten) houseplants set you back.  It is all about finding the right type of plant.



Aug 15, 2011 6:05pm
I laughed when I saw the title of this article! I have killed so many houseplants over the years, and just planted a cactus the other day. I also have several artificial orchids and other plants that I "dust" periodically! Great article!
Aug 16, 2011 3:03pm
Thank you for the comment. I've killed many houseplants myself. My pothos plant seems pretty invincible though. I've had it since I was a teenager. I have to admit, I have managed to kill a cactus a time or two though.
Sep 28, 2011 4:59am
I don't do houseplants. That is just another job that I can live without. I do have fake flower arrangements though.
Sep 29, 2011 11:41am
I have a few houseplants, but I've killed many in the past. I've learned if it has flowers, I am going to kill it, so I don't bother with flowered plants anymore. Thanks for the comment!
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